Saturday 26 July 2008

The advert they want you to read

Last week, Cairns Ports (the artist formerly known as Cairns Port Authority) published a large advert in the Post.

It was nearly a half page. Cost them around $2,500. Quinny had a whip around the morning tea room.

It was a clever bit of PR spin by the Cairns Ports team, akin to an advertisement for a luxury apartment by GlenCorp, built alongside the main state highway at Clifton Beach.

They dragged out comments from the local tourism association boss Rob Giason. "The new marina will complete the beautifully revitalised waterfront precinct." he said. "Cairns should be proud of the Cityport development, which can take the city into the 21st century as an exciting gateway."

This is nothing more than spin, with an aim to fool the general public.

Giason didn't actually write the quote. It was prepared for him by Cairns Ports marketing department, who designed and put the advert together. It was their first part in a campaign to paint a rosy picture of the Cairns waterfront redevelopment. I'm sure our tourism body would want to embrace heritage. It's yet another selling point for why people should visit a destination.

They also got the commodore of the Yacht Club, David Kelly to sing the praises of the new soon-to-be-built high rises and the removal of the historic Club building.

"The club's relocation will help us offer something new and positive to Cairns Sailing and the wider community," he wrote. "The Club has been working cooperatively with Cairns Ports for many years in the design of these incredible facilities, which offer so much more than our former location."

This is so far from the truth, it's amazing they could actually publish such trash. In fact, it's an outright lie to say that the Yacht Club has been 'working cooperatively with Cairns Ports for many years'.

Again, David Kelly didn't write this. Like the binding Memorandum of Understanding that Yacht Club committee was forced to sign four years ago, they are wanting to make it look like everything is fine about what they're doing for the community.

It's very likely that the Club, as it is today, will not survive long after the move. The Port Authority have given them a discounted rent on the new premise for the first year, but no commitment has been made beyond that.

Certainly the social members will have no reason to follow, as they have not been accommodated in any way at the new venue. It is not a "club-house" that is being constructed - a 70sq meter bunker, to store equipement, that's all. There will be no refreshment facilities, like a bar or a restaurant in the new club rooms that is being touted as a 'wonderful new facility'.

A commercially-operated restaurant nearby, called the Salt House, is being built. It is this that the Port Authority believes will be the basis for many of the Yacht Club social club members. They recently announced that Club members will get a discount, this however can be revoked or changed at anytime, after all they're not in business to make a loss. The upmarket restaurant is not related to the Yacht Club at all. Mains will probably be around $25-$35 and beers between $5.50 and $7.50. Whereas as the Yachtie you can grab a good feed for around $10-$15, and your favourite ale for $3.50.

Rob Williams, who runs the Dixie Jazz Club, until recently held all their dances at the Yacht Club. The now enjoy the Tiger's League Club rooms, and with a Fish and chips with salad meal at $7.50, the members keep coming back.

It's important to note that the Yacht Club will retreat away from this political storm, with their head hung low, they will leave the building in 7 weeks time, that has served them consistently for over 100 years. This is a long and sad sorry tale of a Labor government and the local Port Authority hell-bent on their game of building up the waterfront without any community involvement of what we'd like.

When Brad Geatches was CEO of the Port Authority, he gave the Yacht Club a gag order to stop any public discussion or debate. They didn't want people within the club, to speak with any dissention about the plan to demolish their building.

The Cairns Post reported in July 2004 that Club Commodore David Kelly said "if any of the club's 460 members who talked to the media face suspension if it was found to be harmful to the Club."

"We are angry at the Club's decision to move," members told the Post.

It would be interesting to know how their members feel about the deal today knowing now what they're actually getting.

The building does not belong to the Port Authority, nor the Government. It belongs to the Cairns Yacht Club and therefore, the community of Cairns.

Of course it's no secret that Kelly is a dead set Labor boy. It's a shame that his energy to pursue any battle against the might of the Port Authority is diminished, due to his current health.

However, this issue is about an historic building, not a Club.

In the last week, the growing group of supporters that have formed PADYC, have put their hands in their pocket to the tune of $2,500 and have published a half page advertisement in today's Weekend Post.

"It's important to bring the full and true story before the public," says PADYC co-ordinator Wendy Richardson.

The retention of the old Yacht Club building is in line with modern trends in waterfront developments all over the world, where heritage buildings contrast well with their more recent neighbors.

"We envisage the building show-casing the history of early Cairns, along with a restaurant, bar, dance hall and gift shop, located on a heritage trail, all under the management of a community board," says Wendy Richardson.

"We invite everyone to get involved in this campaign. This historic heritage building belongs to the community and we should be taking ownership."

Public Meeting at the Yacht Club
2pm Saturday 2nd August

Public Rally
12 midday Wednesday 13th August
Meet Anzac Park alongside the Casino

Read the full advertisement here...


Anonymous said...

At last the people are being shown the true nature of the Cairns Port Authority - Cairns Ports or whatever name they dress it in. The bureaucrats that run the Authority are truly a law unto themselves and treat the rest of us as a bloody nuisance. How dare we get in the way of them running the Port. It was our money that saved the Cairns International Airport and moved it on when Bjelkie didn’t want to know about it. The State Government waited till it was producing good profits as an International Gateway and have been milking it ever since, the CEO Manager Manning resigned when the government used the Airport as collateral for a state debt. As the people of Cairns Region realize they have the power, I can foresee a move to disband this autonomous parasite in the side of Cairns City and allow us to plan and control our own Region and destiny.

Anonymous said...

bungyone says..."As the people of Cairns Region realise they have the POWER......"
This is the real issue at stake here. How much "power" do we, the people of Cairns have or are we now totally irrelevant in the affairs of our own city?

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed at how power hunry almost everyone involved in property development is!

Anonymous said...

You look at this story, and I girlfrien and I have been following it here on Cairnsblog for a few months now.. and we've never been to this yacht club. Actually... we don't have any reason or much interest to in th efuture... HOWEVER we feel this is the type of thing that makes up a community.. not big tall corporate towers or things that only the rich investors from down south can afford..

We're really impressed at the deterimination and efforts of all these people who are doing this fight. We meet a young girl at the Cairns Show last week who was getting the petion signed. There was also two others there and I saw a mixture of anger and tears in their eyes at having to fight this fight for what seems years.

We both signed.. and will turn up for the rally next Saturday. We'll also be bringing our 8 year old boy, who loves the water. I guess 100 years ago there was a dad like me with a yound son that also took his kid down to this very same building to enjoy the place and the opportunity to be part of what our area is all about - the reef and the marine life.

Why on earth don't ANY of the Labor politicians make a public statement to support this? That Boyle lady is not a representative of Cairns.. she should be ashamed to walk our streets. I bet she wil be a coward and not turn up aty the meeting. If any of them do (Wettenhall, Turnour, O'Brien) I will be amazed.. however if the do.. they will start to earn some respect fordoing what we pay them to do: represent the community.. not big business for the sole sake of a whacking great big profit. Because after the profit is made, and banked.. what do we have left?

Anonymous said...

This is one f%*ked up situation. -beno

Anonymous said...

Well .. the members of the old Yachtie Club are dickheads for signjing anything with the smarter dickheads from the port authority...

Lesson: Don't trust the government. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Why do'nt you lot take out an injunction against those that are about to run a bulldozer through your pride and joy? Thought about that??? Then you could have you day in court with them. just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Point of order Bungyone; Manning did not resign, he was sacked! As CEO of CPA he was a egomanical control freak who's departure was welcomed by all who worked for CPA. His next incarnation was as candidate for Cairns as the Liberal offering rejected on polling day.